Getting divorced is hard enough without any external factors. Add 10 months of a global pandemic, quarantining, home-schooling, and job changes, and it could be a true recipe for disaster. You can’t go blow off steam with your friends without considering a lot of logistics. You can’t run to the gym to clear your mind without being concerned about masks, capacity, and the like. You can’t go see your therapist, other than on a screen, likely inside the confines of your already toxic living environment.
Divorce in this upcoming year is going to be a new kind of challenge. But there is a way to make it slightly less so, if you are able. It won’t work for everyone, but if it’s possible, I’d highly recommend settling your case before it starts.
Far before Covid, the court system was backlogged. Depending on the county in which you live, you could wait months- often years- before obtaining an actual trial date to bring your matter to conclusion. Now, the wait time is much, much, longer. Accordingly, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is attempt some method of alternative dispute resolution. There are various ways to resolve your differences in the best interest of your family without running to Court.
This could mean just you and your spouse finding a mediator and engaging in mediation. It’s worth noting that mediation is a voluntary, non-binding, confidential process. You could also hire an attorney and work with your attorney to discuss settlement options at the outset. Typically this only works if there is already some level of transparency with respect to the family’s economics, but certainly there are plenty of tools to obtain all necessary information. You can also do a hybrid of these options and attend mediation, with your attorney. This ensures that you have someone advocating for you, protecting your interests, while still trying to resolve your case in an amicable and expedited fashion.
In the event you’re not in a place where everyone is looking for such an amicable and expedited resolution, and for one reason or another, there is absolutely no neutral ground to be reached- you can and should also consider arbitration. This is a process by which you are able to conduct a trial on your case, and the result is binding as if you were in a courtroom, but the “judge” is an agreed upon neutral arbitrator. While the downside is that you have to pay for the arbitrator’s time, the upside is that you will have a trial completed before an arbitrator far before you will ever get a trial date scheduled within the courtroom.
If you are able to commit to settling your case before it starts, you will be saving yourself and your family a lot of time, money and energy in the long run. As many judges will tell you, resolving your disputes outside of the courtroom gives you much more latitude than asking a “stranger in a black robe” to make all of those decisions for you.
For any questions regarding mediation, arbitration, or resolution of your case, please reach out to us here at ZRE Law.